GovTrack’s Bill Summary
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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish and administer a Yakima River Basin Water Conservation Program for the purpose of evaluating and implementing measures to improve the availability of water supplies for irrigation and the protection and enhancement of fish and wildlife resources, including wetlands, while improving the quality of water in the Yakima River basin.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to eligible entities for the purpose of carrying out this Act. Requires the Program to encourage and provide funding assistance for the following phases of water conservation:
(1) development of water conservation plans, consistent with specified guidelines discussed below, by individuals and areawide entities;
(2) investigation of the feasibility of specific potential water conservation measures identified in the plans;
(3) implementation of measures that have been identified in the plans and investigated for feasibility; and
(4) post-implementation monitoring and evaluation of implemented measures.
Directs the Secretary to establish the Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group to provide assistance with respect to the Program. Directs the Secretary to adopt guidelines to be used in the administration of the Program. Sets forth the contents of such guidelines.
Details the manner in which costs of the four phases are to be shared among Federal, State, and local sources.
Requires the coordination of on-farm water management improvements with programs administered by the Secretary of Agriculture and State conservation districts.
Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Program. Provides for the implementation by the Yakima Indian Nation of:
(1) an irrigation demonstration project on the Yakima Indian Reservation that shall provide for the construction of distribution and on-farm irrigation facilities to use water savings resulting from system improvements to the Wapato Irrigation Project; and
(2) a Toppenish Creek corridor enhancement project to demonstrate integration of management of agricultural, fish, wildlife, and cultural resources to meet tribal objectives.
Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary for initiation, operation, and maintenance of such projects and for implementation of system improvements to the Wapato Irrigation Project. States that the Program is intended to result in reductions in water diversions allowing for changes in the present operation of the Yakima Federal Reclamation Project to improve instream flows in the Yakima River basin.
Details the instream flows the Secretary is required to provide through the Yakima Project Superintendent, allowing flow increases to facilitate anadromous fish migration which, to the extent possible, are obtained through voluntary sale and leasing of water or water rights.
Provides for review and adjustment of the water supply in the Yakima River basin set aside for the instream flows to be provided by the Secretary in order to meet water entitlements.
Dedicates water savings resulting from improvements to the Wapato Irrigation Project to fish, wildlife, and on-reservation irrigation.
Requires water accruing in the additional storage capacity of Lake Cle Elum that is made available pursuant to the modifications discussed below to be:
(1) administered in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington; and
(2) considered part of the Yakima River basin's water supply.
Authorizes releases from other Yakima Project storage facilities to utilize the water described above, except that water deliveries to holders of existing water rights shall not be impaired.
Authorizes appropriations for Chandler Power Canal operations for the delivery of water to the Kennewick Division. Authorizes appropriations for:
(1) modifying the radial gates at Cle Elum Dam to provide additional storage capacity in Lake Cle Elum;
(2) providing for shoreline protection of the Lake;
(3) constructing juvenile fish passage facilities at the Dam;
(4) operation and maintenance responsibilities of the Federal Government for the Dam; and
(5) environmental mitigation.
Provides for the enhancement of water supplies for Yakima River Basin tributaries for fish and wildlife and irrigation purposes.
Requires a study to determine the measures to be implemented to enhance water supplies for such purposes on Taneum Creek. Authorizes appropriations for such enhancement and for the Taneum Creek study.
Makes implementation of this Act contingent upon compliance by the Secretary with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
Authorizes appropriations for environmental compliance activities.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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